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Fonds AM1264 - Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds.

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  • 1951-1994 (Creation)
    Coalition of Progressive Electors

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Physical description

  • 2.9 m of textual records
  • ca. 631 photographs

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Administrative history

The Committee of Progressive Electors was formed in 1968 as a left-wing challenge to the civic policy and the Non-Partisan Association regarding development and social issues. The two key players in the formation of COPE were Alderman Harry Rankin and Frank Kennedy, chairman of the Metropolitan Advisory Committee of the Vancouver and District Labour Council. COPE was intended to encompass labour, small business, community groups, and reform organizations. Their first campaign, complete with a party platform, was held in the fall of 1968. Alderman Harry Rankin was re-elected under the COPE banner, but it was not until 1980 that a breakthrough occurred, with Harry Rankin, Bruce Yorke, and Bruce Eriksen on City Council; Libby Davies and Pat Wilson on Park Board, and a COPE majority on School Board. In 1993, a new name, Coalition of Progressive Electors, was adopted, to reflect the expansion of a broader base of activists. The acronym of COPE was preserved.

Custodial history

The fonds were stored by members of the COPE executive. Before delivery to the Archives, the records were organized by Donna Vogel, a UBC Ph.D student, on behalf of COPE through support by the Boag Foundation.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the records of the Coalition of Progressive Electors. The records cover the period 1951-1993, predominantly 1968-1993. The majority of the records are textual and consist of correspondence, minutes, election and campaign materials, brochures, financial records, and photographs.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated in 1996 by Ruth Herman and 2002 by Donna Vogel on behalf of the COPE executive.


There was no original order and a file list based on chronology has been created. File titles were transcribed from the original documents.

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File list available.

Associated materials

See published book "1968-1993 COPE Working for Vancouver" by John Church, Elaine Decker, Gary Onstad, and Ben Swankey, and Add.MSS 666, records of The Electors Action Movement (TEAM).


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